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Manna, food for the world's starving children

Omar: 8 years, 19 pounds

photo by FMSC
Omar: 8 years, 19 pounds photo by FMSC

 According to the World Health Organization, 18,000 children starve to death each day of the year.

 The Bible’s book of Exodus follows an ancient people’s 40 year sojourn through the desert area east and south of the Mediterranean Sea. Their food, the Bible reports, was a miraculous, wafer like substance that appeared on the ground each morning like frost. Each morning the people gathered only what they would need for one day. Anything more than that would spoil, but each person, child or adult, had all they required to maintain health, one day at a time. That substance was called Manna.

In the recent past, a new Manna has become increasingly available for the same purpose, to provide sufficient nutrition in one meal per day to sustain a child or an adult. Fortunately, this new manna will withstand storage to allow distribution to the world’s poor, even in the most remote areas of the world.

To those fortunate to receive this unique food, it is no less miraculous. This life saving packet of nutrition is a mixture of rice, soy, vitamins and minerals, dehydrated vegetables and a vegetable chicken flavoring, which when reconstituted with boiling water becomes a tasty, life-sustaining meal at a cost today less than 20 cents per meal.

They call it Manna Pack™, developed at the request of Feed My Starving Children, a faith based, Minnesota nonprofit, by food scientist from Minnesota’s great food companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, Cargill and others. Unlike the food much of the world is accustomed to eating, with high levels of sugars, salts, fats and flavoring, Manna Pack’s naturally nutritious properties are accommodated in the digestive system of a body malnourished by starvation.

In 2009, Feed My Staving Children distributed 96,800,000 meals to starving children in 62 countries. From its three Minnesota packing sites in Coon Rapids, Chanhassen, and Eagan, and one in Aurora, Illinois, 419,000 volunteers prepared 350 container sized shipments of 270,000 meals.

According to Tom Rine, one the organization’s few full time staff, shipments are expected to reach 127 million in 2010. Tom declared, “These are already accounted for.” The number of meals is expected to reach 250 million by 2015.

Half of the volunteers are under age 18, who often come with their families or with school classes to meet with their adult counterparts, individuals or groups from area churches, clubs, and business at FMSC’s packing sites or to church auditoriums, gymnasiums, business warehouses serviced by FMSC’s Mobile Pack ™ semi-truck and trailer, where they measure and weigh bulk ingredients into plastic pouches, which are heat sealed, counted, boxed and palletized for container shipment to the world’s hungry children.

When the Haiti earthquake struck, FMSC already had 3 million meals on the ground in warehouses controlled by Love A Child, another Christian humanitarian organization in Haiti. Since then an additional 15 million meals have been distributed through 200 Haiti “partners,” many of whom are missionaries who are well established in the country.

Rine explained just how critical distribution is throughout the world, “We know food is reaching the people who need it, because we work through missionaries who live in the remote areas and who understand the politics and the people.” Since their shipments began, FMSC has not been able to account for only two shipments; one disappeared and probably ended up on the black market, the other was confiscated by that country’s military engaged in rebellion.

Recently, the Chanhassen site has prepared a second miracle formula, Potato Pack ™. A blend of dried potato, dehydrated vegetables, vitamins, and minerals; Potato Pack ™ that is better utilized where bodies are ravaged by AIDS, diarrhea and dysentery and cannot immediately assimilate the nutrients in Manna Pack ™. Also prepared with boiling water, feeding may begin with a mere spoonful, increasing until the system accepts Manna Pack.

To see the physical benefits to starving children of such simple foods is no know miracles continue today through people who care.

To learn more about Feed My Starving Children and how you can prevent children around the world from starving please visit their website: or call their headquarters: 763.504.2919



  • Julie 5 years ago

    Nice article, Ron. Good writing too.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    This is an AMAZING group and I don't think they get enough credit, nor do the manufacturing companies for developing this food! Thank you! God Bless

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